Affiliate Programs, Keyword Lists, and Niche Research for Cooking
When it comes to one of the many popular evergreen industries, cooking is right up there near the top. People gotta eat, don't they? However because “cooking” is so broad, you will have to concentrate on finding a more specific audience to have a better chance of generating traffic and sales from an enthusiastic group of people.
One way to narrow down your niche would, try to think of the many aspects that go into the act of cooking and not focus so much on the food in general. For example, WHO is doing the cooking and HOW. One great site I saw in my research was focused on college kids that need to cook in small kitchen. Another one was focused on busy professionals that want to be healthy, but don't have the time to research and make great recipes all the time.
Another possibility is to focus on special diets. Vegan cooking, raw (non) cooking, gluten free cooking, and paleo cooking – these are all extremely popular and highly focused target markets to consider -all of which have a huge fan base just ready to spend loads of money. People love to eat and will drop some serious cash put what they consider the “right” food in their bodies.
More and more people prefer to eat a home cooked meal than food cooked at a restaurant, because it is healthier and far less expensive. When people cook from home they have more control of the food they consume by being able to avoid fats, gluten, and other ingredients not allowed by their style of eating. This also means they take more interest in cooking, resulting in a need to buy equipment, ingredients, instructions!
Researching a good place to eat just takes a quick look on Yelp and then it's done. Finding out how to cook an awesome meal could take an hour of research, a trip to the grocery store, an hour of prep, eating, then cleanup. Of course, not all cooking is that labor intensive, but it shows the amount of thought that goes into a passion for cooking versus a passion for eating.
That's not to say that eating out isn't popular! Just check this trend:
One of the reasons why the Food Network has been a popular cable TV network, comes from the fact that it caters to those who cook from home with various types of recipes. And the food network has TONS of shows! I'm sure you've heard of superstars like Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, Guy Fieri, Gordon Ramsay, and Bobby Flay (sorry, I just know the dudes). And there are many niche shows on TV as well like weird foods, BBQ, cheap meals, Italian food, world cuisine, road trips, and definitely lots of food battles.
The topics and audiences for these shows are potentially highly traffic areas to research, and as an affiliate marketer this opens up lucrative possibilities for you.
Let us look at some more cooking sub niches.
- vegetarian diet
- ethnic foods (Indian, Thai, Greek, Italian, etc.)
- online cooking courses
- countertop oven meals
- pressure cooker meals
- slow cooker meals
- electric soup makers
- cooking games for children
- non-stick cookware
- leftover food storage
- barbecue grilling
- cooking while camping
- gluten free cooking recipes
- portable gas grills
- meal prepping
- camp cooking
- himalayan salt slab cooking
- cooking on a budget
- cooking in college
That long list of sub niches above are just a small sampling of the immensely popular evergreen niche of cooking. One might not think that the cooking niche is as popular as it is, but when you consider all of the TV chefs who have become notable because of programs like the Food Network, it is no wonder that many are making a comfortable living sharing their passion.
Top 3 Affiliate Programs
In doing the research for this cooking blog I found that the majority of the affiliate programs I came across all had something either unique about them or had been in business for quite some time. Most of them offered a wide selection of name brand products that would support a huge amount of sub niches.
One of the sub niches that I found while doing this research, which is growing in popularity, is that of space-saving countertop cooking. These types of compact cooking ovens are a huge frontier to tap into. They cook food better than a conventional oven, are not hot to touch, and they are easy to use, more on this below.
But the affiliate programs you see below are just a few of the top ones I found in my initial research. As you narrow down your own niche, you should do independent research to find the best programs for your audience. Maybe some of my research here will spark some ideas for you!
Pig of the Month BBQ
- Signup URL: pigofthemonth.com/affiliate-program
- Focus: Specialty BBQ pork products (ribs, pulled pork, sausage, bacon) as well as their popular sauces, desserts, and gear.
- Commissions: 25% on all orders
Comments: Not only is this my #1 pick for their high commission and their 365-day cookie, but also because my mouth was watering after reviewing their website. Pig of the Month BBQ is a family run business that follows a time-tested family tradition of the best barbecue meats you can find in the U.S.
This company’s delicious barbecue meats, sumptuous sauces, and desserts have been featured on dozens of websites, television shows, radio stations, and they have won many awards. Pig of the Month BBQ also has a following of well-known TV personalities such as Whoopi Goldberg, Iron Chef Michael Symon, Paula Deen, Stephen Colbert, and Chelsea Handler.
- Signup URL: metrokitchen.com/affiliates
- Focus: They offer every kind of cooking appliance, cookware sets, cutlery, bakeware, and accessories for the kitchen.
- Commissions: 4% on all orders.
Comments: Though they have a low commission, Metrokitchen is still my #2 pick. They are a family owned business and the oldest online kitchen retailer in the world. They started in 1998 and their customer service is absolutely superb. You can actually speak with a live person in their Atlanta, GA office, each an expert in cookware, knives and small appliances.
They offer a 45-day cookie and have kitchen products that every cook both professional and novice will want to have. Metrokitchen offers a wide variety of name brand products and offer a lifetime guarantee on most of the products they sell.
- Signup URL: relieffoods.com/affiliate-programs
- Focus: Catering mainly to food and storage for times of crisis as well as those who cook while outdoors during camping and hunting events
- Commissions: 13.5% on all merchandise
Comments: My #3 choice is Relief Foods because they offer cooking and food storage equipment for a unique sub niche that most of the other affiliate programs do not offer. In addition to their 30-day cookie they cater mainly to those who cook outdoors and people who are preppers, survivalists, campers, and hunters.
The Relief Foods affiliate program markets high-value, long-lasting, and easy solutions to food preparation, cooking and storage for those times of emergency and life’s unforeseen events. Relief Foods provide many different options to individuals and families with foods such as meat, fruit and gluten-friendly recipes.
Other Affiliate Programs
- 3% to 7% depending on size of order
- A wide selection of kitchen small appliances, George Foreman Grills, bakeware, cookware, serving trays, buffet trays, soup makers, utensils, and gadgets
eTundra Restaurant Supply
- Over 60,000 products of kitchen supplies, cooking equipment and parts for professionals, home chefs and foodies.
- A wide variety of premium steaks, red meats and other gourmet foods for cooking and grilling
- 150+ top cooking and kitchen brands like All-Clad, Le Creuset, KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Nordic Ware, and USA Pans
- 30% to 50% depends on amount sold
- Over 50 eCookbook titles and basic Cook'n Recipe Organizer for recipe management, menu planning, nutritional analyzing
Shop Taste of Home
- 10% to 12% depends on item
- Cookbooks, eCookbooks, Kitchen Gadgets, Appliances, & Cooking School Courses
- Largest gas grill brand since 1948, of the best outdoor grills, parts and accessories
Cooking Keywords Breakdown
Top 10 Low Competition Keywords (Searches/QSR)
- paula deen recipes on the food network – 3233/1
- are aluminum frying pans safe – 64/4
- nuwave oven pro digital black extender ring – 440/11
- what is the best turkey fryer – 351/12
- cooking light recipes recipe finder – 4232/18
- best rated nonstick cookware – 112/21
- e cooking games for girls – 2900/24
- how to make alfredo sauce from scratch – 1019/27
- how long to cook hard boiled eggs – 514/34
- iron chef america tv show – 524/47
Top 10 High Traffic Keywords (Searches/QSR)
- the food network – 1738490/266
- cooking games – 992070/281
- culinary cooking classes – 823000/217
- how to cook – 67635/249
- how to cook tilapia – 40500/119
- healthy dinner recipes – 38668/206
- rachael ray cookware – 32657/164
- quick dinner recipes – 11508/200
- girls cooking games – 10094/181
- cooking channel recipes – 8718/119
Why Is This Different From Google’s Number?
Though Google’s Keyword Tool has improved in recent years, it still gives inflated (inaccurate) traffic numbers. The keyword tool I use takes data from a variety of search engines, not just Google. Remember that Bing + Yahoo own 30% of the search market.
Other Great Keywords (high traffic, low competition)
- how to cook crab legs – 33100/140
- cook jobs – 12647/163
- nuwave pro infrared oven – 10295/175
- free online cooking games – 8062/204
- portable gas grill – 8052/154
- grilled vegetable recipes – 7481/184
- how to cook an artichoke – 6691/222
- bobby flay recipes – 6534/191
- sara cooking class games – 5964/116
- crock pot cooking – 5343/245
- italian cooking schools – 4400/163
- the best stainless steel cookware – 2968/156
- rachael ray 30 minute meals recipes – 238/11
- best nonstick cookware reviews – 7602/26
- nuwave oven pro reviews – 178/33
- easy grilled vegetable recipes – 302/45
- play cooking mama online – 774/74
- cooking academy 2 download – 18100/78
- digiorno pizza cooking instructions – 1000/93
- cooking times for turkey – 90500/94
Affiliate Marketing Action Plan For Cooking
Considering that there's so many ways you could take your website, I've just chosen one sub niche that I thought was interesting and will describe how I'd build a profitable website around this topic. Here was my thought process:
Personally I would look at the trends in how many people are now seeking ways to cook a healthy meal at home without too much trouble. People are busy. Most family have two working parents, kids with after school activities, and are on a budget! But “healthy cooking for the busy mom” doesn't really suit me, since I don't have kids. I'd rather pick something a bit more concrete, like a specific method of making meals.
There have been healthy cooking appliances such as the George Foreman Grill, and now there are now other types of appliances with higher technology and cooking capacity. I'd like to tap into those.
For example, the Nuwave oven is the latest craze in easy space-saving countertop cooking where you can cook an entire meal and even an entire turkey with relative ease. Just place the food in the oven, set the timer and come back when it is done. Simple, easy and the fat is taken right out.
Slow cookers are also extremely popular with the working foodie community as well as fans of comfort foods. Just the other day I saw a recipe for slow cooker orange sesame chicken that looked amazing. All you had to do was set it in the morning and leave it all day long.
Counter top ovens would also fit into this category, and there are entire sets of meal recipes I could go through and review.
Most of all, I would be interested in reviewing the equipment, comparing models, and defining which products are best for what type of person. Someone that in more interested in losing weight would prefer a Nuwave Oven. Someone that enjoys more traditional meals and isn't worried too much about calorie count, would do better with a slow cooker. A man looking to grill some steaks in the evening after work would do great with a Foreman Grill.
These are the types of cooking appliances I would look into if I were to do a cooking niche website, because they are the kind of ovens everyone both professional and the home cooker are seeking. Not only is it space-saving but it is energy-efficient and portable too, perfect for those with small kitchens, or for people without full size ovens.
Need Extra Help?
When taking on the cooking niche and all of its sub niches, remember to narrow down your niche as much as possible so that you will be able to generate high profits.